DIY Copper Drapery Rods

My DIY Copper Drapery Rods!

DIY Copper Drapery Rods grandparentsplus.com

In my kitchen, I  display my collection of vintage copper tea kettles and coffee pots above the cupboards. I like the patina the copper gets as it ages. While wondering what I was going to do about drapery rods in the kitchen, I got the idea of looking into using copper drapery rods to coördinate with my vintage copper accents!

Here’s a sample of two of the areas above the cupboards where I display my copper pots.

DIY Copper Drapery Rods grandparentsplus.com

 


DIY Copper Drapery Rods grandparentsplus.com

I looked online, but what I found was a fake copper finish and not real copper plus they were expensive. So, I  went to my local home hardware store to see what they had for copper pipe that might work.  

One problem I had to work around was that the windows were at a 45 degree angle to each other. There was not enough room to put two rod holders in that area. I needed something with a 45 degree angle to tie the two areas together. A custom rod was too expensive.

Also, I wanted to hide that the windows were not centered on each wall when they built the house. That has always bothered me so I hoped that the final product would hide that flaw. (why don’t builders think of those things?)

Deciding to use the copper pipe, but not wanting it so shiny, I researched online about how to give new copper that aged patina. I finally came up with a product that would do the trick in one application. Other ideas like hard-boiled eggs, etc. (yes, that was what one site suggested) were too complicated. The product I found is called, Liver of Sulphur Extended Life Gel. It came in a 4 oz. jar, but I only needed a small 1/2 tsp. to do all the copper. (If you need some, I’ll sell you mine. I don’t think I’ll ever use it up.) Perhaps contact someone who makes jewelry to see if they have something to give patina to the copper.

The 10 ft. length of 3/4 inch copper pipe was around $11.00. I also found a 45 degree copper fitting that would work for the bend in the wall.

The Liver of Sulphur aged the copper, but it was a bit uneven. It was hard to paint the product on a round pipe and then quick stop the aging with Baking Soda solution.

DIY Copper Drapery Rods grandparentsplus.com

My husband took some fine steel wool and evened out the patina. Yes, perfect!

DIY Copper Drapery Rods grandparentsplus.com

There wasn’t room to add a finial on the end so I just used copper end-caps to finish it off. My husband put the rods up with three drapery rod holders which I had painted with a copper color spray paint and it was perfect! The window placement flaws are hidden and I feel so much better about it and I love my DIY Copper Drapery Rods! They sure cost less than the standard drapery rods and far less than custom ones that were at a 45 degree angle! Total cost was around $25.00 for both windows. (not counting the Liver of Sulfur, but including drapery rod holders) 

DIY Copper Drapery Rods grandparentsplus.com

These diy copper drapery rods would go with many combinations of neutral decor as well. I am very happy with how they turned out! Have you thought of using copper pipe?

Thanks for stopping by, 

Phyllis

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Valentine Scones (quick and easy)

Scones are sometimes tricky and hard to make tender and delicious. This recipe will make you an expert. It is quick, easy, and the scones turn out delicious. There is a simple trick to making them tender which I’ll share with you so stay tuned…..

Valentine Scones (quick and easy) grandparentsplus.com

These Valentine Scones are almond flavored with mini cherry chips in the batter. They’re perfect for a Valentine tea or just a breakfast or afternoon treat.

Valentine Scones grandparentsplus.com

 

Valentine Scones (quick and easy)
Recipe Type: Bread
Cuisine: American, English
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12-18 scones
Light, tender, and delicious scones. Vary the flavors and what you add to them for serving anytime.
Ingredients
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup to 2 cups chopped dried fruit, chocolate, cherry, or other flavored chips, nuts, or a combination,(optional)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or the flavoring of your choice (I used almond extract)
  • 3/4 cup half and half or milk for free-form scones
  • Topping:
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons sparkling white sugar or cinnamon, or colored sugar
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  2. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. It’s OK if there ar a few larger lumps.
  3. Stir in the chips, fruit or whatever you’re adding to the dough.
  4. In another bowl, mix eggs, milk ( or half and half), along with flavorings
  5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until moist.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment or use greased pan Sprinkle a little flour on the parchment or pan.
  7. Drop approx. 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dough on to baking sheet for each free-form scone.
  8. Brush top of scone with milk and sprinkle sugar on them
  9. Place in freezer for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove and bake in 425 degree oven for approx. 20-25 minutes. Watch closely as this time depends on the size of your scones.
  11. Remove from pan and cool on rack.
  12. When cool, frost with a powdered sugar glaze and sprinkle with red colored sugar for Valentine Scones (this is optional)
  13. These scones are easy to” prepare for any occasion. Use dried fruits, nuts, or chocolate chips, too.

 

Ok, did you catch the secret? It’s the 30 minutes in the freezer that relaxes the gluten, makes them tender, and rise higher. It, also, chills the fat which makes them flakier! Did you know that fact?

 

Valentine Scones (quick and easy) grandparentsplus.com

 

The free-formed scones are so much easier to make and they taste the same! If you decide to freeze them, don’t frost until you thaw them out. 

Serve with Devonshire cream and lemon curd, if desired.

Devonshire Cream

1 C. heavy whipping cream
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla together until whipped cream consistency.
Fold in 1 C. sour cream

 

Valentine Scones (quick and easy) grandparentsplus.com

You might enjoy the Best Valentine Cookies – Flavor Cookies, too.

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Stromboli – Baked Italian Sandwich

Stromboli – a baked Italian Sandwich, is a favorite at our house. It is so easy to make that even kids can do this recipe! The frozen bread dough makes it simple and ready to do when you get home from work. Just follow the directions on the frozen bread dough package to thaw and use for this sandwich.

Stromboli- baked Italian sandwich grandparentsplus.com

 

Vary the ingredients to what you like. If you like onions, but another person doesn’t want them, just do 1/2 the sandwich with them and 1/2 without. Mark with a toothpick. 

I’ve used this for an informal party and had my guests make their own.  Each couple makes their sandwich to suit their tastes.  (You need double ovens to bake four sandwiches, however.) At the end of the evening, send home the left-overs with them.

 

Stromboli – Baked Italian Sandwich
Recipe Type: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
Easy Italian sandwich using frozen bread dough, various meats, and cheese. Baked and served with warmed spaghetti sauce.
Ingredients
  • 2 loaves of frozen bread dough
  • 2 egg yolks (save whites)
  • 1 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1 lb mozzarella cheese – shredded
  • Various meats, cheese, tomatoes, veggies, olives, etc.
  • (see suggested amounts below for two loaves)
Instructions
  1. Make a paste of egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, pepper, oil, and parsley flakes. Spread down half down the center of dough on each baking sheet. (This is like a pesto.)
  2. Layer ingredients of your choice. Approximate amounts for the two loaves are: ham (approx. 1/2 lb sliced), turkey (1/2 lb.), salami (1/4 lb.), green or red peppers, onion, tomato, olives ( black or green)
  3. Cover with mozzarella cheese or cheese of your choice. Add all ingredients to the middle 1/3 of the dough.
  4. Fold both sides over to the center. Moisten the edges with water and press to seal. Be sure to seal it well!
  5. Make air-vents by making cuts along the top sides.
  6. Brush on slightly beaten egg whites over the entire top.
  7. Bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

 

This is the first step of the Stromboli.

Stromboli - Italian Baked Sandwich grandparentsplus.com

Kids love to do this, too!

Stromboli - Italian Baked Sandwich grandparentsplus.com

 

Spread the pesto down the middle of the dough….. and follow the next steps.

Stromboli - Italian Baked Sandwich grandparentsplus.com

Stromboli - Italian Baked Sandwich grandparentsplus.com

I did this with grandchildren and the kids made the entire Stromboli by themselves. I sealed it up for them as that’s the hardest part. Because they put what they wanted in it, they loved it!

Stromboli - Italian Baked Sandwich grandparentsplus.com

After baking for 30 minutes, slice, and serve with hot spaghetti sauce for dipping! 

This is also a great idea for those football game days! 

Stromboli - Italian Baked Sandwich grandparentsplus.com

I’ll bet this becomes a family favorite!

Enjoy!

Phyllis 

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Plastic Heart made with Milk and Vinegar!

A “Plastic Heart made with milk and vinegar”? Yes, I can show you how to make plastic with milk and vinegar! I didn’t believe it either, but it works. Kids will be amazed and have fun with this craft and science experiment. At our Oma and Opa Camp 2015, I used this experiment. I found this on ScienceBuddies.

Plastic Heart made with Milk and Vinegar grandparentsplus.com

Use this idea to make Valentine hearts. ( or any shape you want) No need to run out and buy special stuff as the materials are right in your cupboard and refrigerator.

ll you need is…..

Materials:

Milk- 9 oz.  2% or whole

Vinegar- 4 teaspoons

Red Food Color – 2 drops (optional)

Small heart cookie cutters (mine were 2  1/4 and 1  1/2 inches across)

Straw or pen to poke a hole (optional)

Pin back or yarn for necklace (optional)

Glitter glue (optional)

Directions:

Add 2 drops of food coloring to  9 oz. of milk (use 2% or whole)  The color darkens a lot as it dries.

Heat 9 oz. milk in a glass for 2 minutes in a microwave or heat milk in a pan on the stove until hot, but do not boil!

Plastic Heart made with Milk and Vinegar grandparentsplus.com

When hot, but not boiling, add 4 teaspoons of vinegar. Stir the milk and it will start to curdle. When curdled, pour into a strainer. This will look a bit like cottage cheese.

Plastic Heart made with Milk and Vinegar grandparentsplus.com

I used a tea strainer after most of the water was out and squeezed more water from the curds.

Plastic Heart made with Milk and Vinegar grandparentsplus.com

Place the plastic mixture on paper towel. Fold the towel over and over to squeeze more liquid out.

Plastic Heart made with Milk and Vinegar grandparentsplus.com

Press the plastic down to uniformly flatten it out as much as possible. Take a cookie cutter and cut a heart shape from the plastic.

Plastic Heart made with Milk and Vinegar grandparentsplus.com

 I was able to squeeze the remainder of the plastic together to cut out another smaller heart. You’ll notice that the plastic has a little texture to it.

Now, let dry on a flat surface such as a cutting board or counter top for a few days.

Plastic Heart made with Milk and Vinegar grandparentsplus.com

scraps

If you want to hang the hearts or wear as a necklace,  put a hole in them while wet. Use the end of a ball point pen and do this everyday while it is drying as it shrinks back a little.

Be sure to clean your utensils right away so the plastic doesn’t stick.

After a few days and the plastic is completely dry and hard, put a layer of glitter glue on top. (optional) Just spread it on the heart generously and let dry. Now, the heart has a shiny side. If you’re hanging the heart, repeat again on the other side and let dry. String a piece of yarn through the opening and wear to school as a necklace. Another option is to glue a pin back on it. School friends will be amazed that you made a Plastic Heart from milk and vinegar!

This process is actually how many plastics are made. To see a scientific explanation, go to Science Buddies.

Plastic Heart made with Milk and Vinegar grandparentsplus.com

Did you learn something new? I was skeptical when I first tried it, but it worked. Amazing! So, I adapted it for Valentine’s Day. Any cookie cutter or food color will work. Think of animals, insects, or basic shapes to use for other cut-outs. 

Have fun!

Phyllis

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Homemade Chicken Nuggets

These are the best Homemade Chicken Nuggets by far! Your kids will never want any other chicken nuggets other than these, but don’t limit them just to kids! Adults like them, too!

They are so quick and easy to make. Besides that, they freeze well. It’s a quick dinner from the freezer to the oven. Heat in the oven at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes and they are ready. 

Need a quick appetizer?  Add some dipping sauces of mustard, BBQ sauce, or honey and you’ve got a wonderful appetizer that adults will love. Great idea for those football game days!


Homemade Chicken Nuggets grandparensplus.com

 

Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Phyllis Van Rossum
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Best Chicken Nuggets!
Ingredients
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Oil of choice or butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Like it spicier? Add some Kickin Chicken spice!
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken into bite-sized cubes.
  2. Beat eggs
  3. Have 4 shallow bowls and place flour, eggs, and Panko bread crumbs in each separate bowl.
  4. Roll cubes in flour to coat
  5. Dip in beaten eggs
  6. Roll in Panko bread crumbs – usually found in the baking aisle
  7. Fry in oil or butter of choice
  8. Season to taste
  9. When browned, remove and drain on a paper towel
  10. If freezing, place on baking sheet to freeze individually. When frozen, bag and seal. This way, you can use the amount that you need.

 

Don’t substitute regular bread crumbs for Panko. It’s Panko bread crumbs that make them so crispy and good. You’ll find a couple different brands of them in the baking aisle.

If freezing for later, place on a flat cookie sheet to freeze individually. When frozen, bag in smaller amounts. I like to make a big batch and have them in the freezer all ready to use. 

Homemade Chicken Nuggets grandparentsplus.com

YUM! Tender and juicy! They are the best! 

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Valentine Luminaries

The day after Christmas, Valentine decorations appear everywhere. It’s a quick transition from one holiday to another! Before you pack away those cute little Christmas battery lights, this craft puts them to use one more time.  The Valentine Luminaries gives a soft glow and make a great centerpiece or a cute night-light for your little girl’s room. It’s an easy project that kids can do. It involves the “tissue paper and glue technique” that perhaps your kids have done before with other holiday decor. It’s so easy!

 

Valentine Luminaries grandparentsplus.com

 

Materials:

white, light pink, dark pink, and red tissue paper. (Maybe you have some left over from wrapping those presents.)

watered-down white glue or Mod-Podge

brush

glass container or jar

battery Lights

Directions:

Start with your glass container upside down. The opening should be at the bottom.

Tear pieces of white, pink, and dark pink tissue paper and apply with watered-down glue or Mod-Podge.

When you’ve covered the entire glass overlapping pieces, let dry.

Valentine Luminairies grandparentsplus.com

 

Cut hearts out of red tissue paper. Make different sizes and apply to the container over the whites and pinks. Stickers won’t work as the light doesn’t shine through. They will only appear as black.

 

If you wish, add a few flowers or bow on top. Place the battery lights inside and light it up!

Valentine Luminaries grandparentsplus.com

Using the same idea, make 3 smaller Valentine Luminaries and string the lights from one to another.

Enjoy!

Phyllis

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Cowboy Baby Shower

Looking for ideas for a boy baby shower? This Cowboy Baby Shower is perfect for a little buckaroo! Decorations, food and game ideas are all included in this cute shower theme.  Have your guests wear something denim for this party. Decorate with burlap, denim, plaids, bandannas, and you’ve got a memorable shower for a little cowboy!  

This shower was given by my friend, Vicki.  I’m sharing her cute ideas along with adding some game ideas for this theme, too!

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.com

Don’t limit this just to a little boy, but change the colors to denim and pink and this would work just as well for a little cowgirl!

Vicki found the  denim pennants on a clearance rack and add the red-checked letters of the newborn boy! How quick and easy to do making a nice keep-sake for the new baby’s room.

 

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.com

 

Denim, burlap, bandannas and “cowboy” named snacks carry out the theme…..

Pitch Forks- Forks, Cowboy Caviar-Bean Salsa, Chicken Feed – Deviled Eggs, Cow Chips- Chips for the Salsa, Vittles- Cheese and Caramel Popcorn,

 

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentplus.com

Cow Pies – Cheesecake, Fruit Round-up – Assorted Fruits, and, of course, Cowboy cookies!

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.com

Hay Bales – Rice Krispy Bars, and the drinks are named: Morning Dew – Juice, and Cactus Juice – Punch

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.com

Cute paper plates and napkins add to the cowboy atmosphere. Also, use stuffed horses or a rocking horse for more cowboy decorations.

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.co

Looking for a cute gift idea to make along the Cowboy theme? These onesies with cowboy themed iron-on symbols are perfect for the theme.

 

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.com

Now, if you’re ambitious, sew a cowboy quilt for the little buckaroo. Nice job, Vicki!

Cowboy Baby Shower grandparentsplus.com

 

Now for some game ideas….

Cowboys round-up “little doggies”  so a match game of baby animal names would fit.  Here’s a site with all the names of baby animals  to use for your match game.   www.zooborns   A smaller list is available for printing at www.baby-shower.com

Other cowboy related games are found on www.grandparentsplus.com/western-game-ideas.  These are ideas I used with my grandchildren for our camp, but the Snake in the Boot game would work for a shower game, too. Substitute the snake with a baby item! If you don’t have a cowboy boot, use a cowboy hat and stand at a distance to throw the pacifier or other baby item in it. Give 3 tries and see who has the best score!

If you would like to create your own game of interesting cowboy terms, go to www.lemen.com

For prizes, give bags of Trail Mix! 

For more cowboy food ideas, go to grandparentsplus.com/western-food-ideas

Here are ideas for Cowboy Cupcakes…..

Horse Cupcakes  – Complete instructions are on www.luckypony.com

Cowboy Shower Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Cowboy Hat Cupcakes by  ricarocuisine

Cowboy Shower Ideas grandparentsplus.com

Hope this gives you many fun ideas for a cowboy baby shower. Lots of these ideas would translate for a kid’s birthday party or even an adult western party.

Have fun!

Phyllis

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Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake

There’s a favorite restaurant that I like to go to for breakfast. Their Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake is amazing! I go there just to have that with an omelet or eggs.  I had never tasted hash browns like that before. I finally asked the cook if he gave out his recipe. He wouldn’t tell me the amounts, but he did give me the ingredients. So, I’ve experimented and have come up with a recipe that tastes like the one at the restaurant. They are the best! You might say they’re GOOD-Ah!

Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake grandparentsplus.com

 

Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake
Recipe Type: Breakfast or Brunch side dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Phyllis@grandparentsplus.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10-12 servings
Gouda Cheese melted in with a hash brown mixture! The best hash brown recipe you’ll try!
Ingredients
  • Frozen Hash Browns (28-30 oz.)
  • 2 cups shredded Gouda Cheese
  • 3/4 cup yellow onions
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vegetable base (look for this in your soup aisle)
  • Salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. Thaw hash browns and place in large bowl.
  2. Add shredded Gouda cheese
  3. Saute onions and garlic until translucent in 1-2 T. olive oil and add to bowl.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Mix together
  6. Mix 2 tsp of Vegetable Base into 1 pint of heavy cream and stir until combined.
  7. Put hash brown mixture In a grease 9 x 13 pan
  8. Drizzle the heavy cream with vegetable base over the hash browns in the pan.
  9. Bake in 350 degree oven for 1 hour
  10. Remove from oven, cover with foil and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
  11. Cut in squares and serve.

The vegetable base, in this recipe, adds great flavor. It’s a bit expensive, but you’ll use it again and again.

This Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake makes a nice big pan. If you have left-overs, just freeze the individual portions to use later. Take out as needed and microwave.

Another great recipe for hash browns are the Shreds. You might want to check them out, too!

Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake grandparentsplus.com

Oh, I’ll still go back to that restaurant for breakfast, but now I can have those hash browns anytime.

Gouda Cheese Hash Brown Bake grandparentsplus.com

I know you’ll enjoy this recipe!

Phyllis

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Winter Sunset

Most of the beautiful sunsets occur during the summer with the gorgeous colors mirrored across the lake. However, this winter sunset was awesome with the patterns on the ice. I had to take a picture and show that winter can be beautiful, too. 

Winter Sunset

 

 

This is the view out our great-room window! We never tire of the beauty of God’s world around us!

This is not my usual post, but thought I’d share.

Thanks for viewing and Happy New Year!

Phyllis

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